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Sinking of the Coventry

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Hippycrowe
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Sinking of the Coventry

#1 Post by Hippycrowe » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:23 am

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_skYYdS2rGY

Good video on the loss of a British ship during the Falklands island wars.

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Re: Sinking of the Coventry

#2 Post by Reverend Mauser » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:04 pm

In 1984, I was a kid at the world's fair in New Orleans. A British destroyer was briefly moored there and the officer giving the tour said it had a sister ship sunk in the Falklands.

My guess is that it was this one. The turrets on the ship give me a sense of recognition in my old memory.

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Re: Sinking of the Coventry

#3 Post by Hippycrowe » Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:32 am

It's too bad modern warships can't take hits. Do you remember the name of the ship.

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Re: Sinking of the Coventry

#4 Post by Reverend Mauser » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:39 am

Hippycrowe wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:32 am
It's too bad modern warships can't take hits. Do you remember the name of the ship.

Unfortunately, I can't recall the name. It was interesting, though.

We were fortunate in the tour since we were first in the line. We got to yack a good deal with the officer about the ship. I remember a helicopter on it, and he clearly called that it was armed with new-fangled missiles, much like the coventry.

It was also manned by a skeleton crew--very frankly, he stated that most everybody was off enjoying shore leave. New Orleans in the midst of a World's Fair wouldn't be bad for that at all.

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Re: Sinking of the Coventry

#5 Post by Tommy Atkins » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:39 pm

Might it have been a Frigate?
Antelope or Ardent?
IIRC Sheffield & Coventry were the only destroyer lost.
There were a lot of type 42's made.
https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... type42.htm

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Re: Sinking of the Coventry

#6 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:53 pm

Destroyers and frigates generally don't take many big hits, even WWII makes. The Sheffield caught on fire and sank, at least its aluminum did. USA ships have more steel in them I hear, so I hope they don't have that vulnerability. I've run a computerize blow torch and believe me, metal does burn if you get it hot enough.

Protecting a ships vitals with only armor doesn't seem to fit many designers plans. Deploying longer ranged weapons than your enemy and striking them before they strike you seems to be the dominate theme on protection. Also, anti-missile weapons seem to take priority over mere armor anymore.

Had the Briish had a Nimitz class carrier or perhaps three of them, I doubt the Argentine airforce could have penetrated their battle group. AWACS combined with super sonic fighters, not jump jets, will do that for you. Then deployed F-14's could have shot down incoming strikes well before they knew they were in the air with Pheonix missiles. In any case, a larger carrier fighter group would have provided more protection at sea regardless. Jump jet carriers don't provide quite the punch as a Nimitz class carrier. Even an improved Midway class carrier would have carried more air craft. This is why the US never had armored flight decks since the air craft were more important more offensively and defensively.

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Re: Sinking of the Coventry

#7 Post by Reverend Mauser » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:16 pm

Might it have been a Frigate?
IRC Sheffield & Coventry were the only destroyer lost.
What I can recall with fair certainty is that we were touring a destroyer. What I can remember about it definitely looks like the type 42s after looking at some pictures.

Edit: I revise the statement in red. I did some more research and noticed that the HMS Antelope and the HMS Ardents, type 21 frigates also sunk, have a more obvious place for a helicopter. I'm now thinking it was one of those rather than a type 42. Here's a link with pictures: https://historylists.org/other/list-of- ... s-war.html

One thing I certainly don't know is what he meant exactly by saying it had a "sister ship."

It was pretty cool to be on it, in any case. A good memory from my childhood.

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Re: Sinking of the Coventry

#8 Post by Tommy Atkins » Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:43 am

a "Sister Ship" is usually an identically designed & built version of a type.(From the same batch probably) The later Type 42s had a Lynx helicopter on board.
The Sheffield caught on fire and sank, at least its aluminum did.
The Sheffield's problem was its Magnesium/Aluminum alloy armor. If you get it hot enough, and an Exocet could, the aluminum would melt exposing the Magnesium which then burns hot enough to melt the aluminum & have an unstoppable self fueling fire! If you hit burning Magnesium with water (like from a fire hose) it now breaks the water down, scavenging the oxygen to burn even faster & hotter. Air is 1/5th Oxygen, water is 2/3 oxygen.
I believe none of that armor is still in use because of the Sheffield's destruction.

I worked on "Cunard Princess", & her sister ship, the "Cunard Countess", you had to really know the ships to tell them apart even when on board. Little things like the color of the launch top color were the clues.
Princess & Countess.jpg

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Re: Sinking of the Coventry

#9 Post by Hippycrowe » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:39 pm

Some Fletcher class destroyers took some pretty good hits during WW2 armor piercing shells went right through them. I wish I could remember the name of tge destorer that took 2 bomb hits and 5 kamikaze hits during the battle of Okinawa.

Think the British learned from the sinking check your weapons arch and the weapons arch of the ship with you before turning your ship.

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Re: Sinking of the Coventry

#10 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:13 pm

A high school friend's father was aboard that destroyer.

None the less, I stand by my words. Most sea actions off Guadalcanal resulted in mostly destroyer loses. Cruisers and battleships generally take far more damage.

Japanese kamikaze attacks failed to sink even one light CVL carrier. The only one sunk, the Princeton, was hit by an actual bomb. This makes me think even though the planes struck the target, the damage failed to penetrate the vital spaces required for crippling damage. Also, when a kamikaze hit a battleship, the damage was litteraly mopped up.

I know World of Warships has HE and AP ammo, but HE was only used for shore bombardment. That game is as realistic as....the old battle of the bulge movie. Ike hated it as it was so unrealistic, generally not much snow to be seen as well as other things. I actually had to stop laughing at the game teaser it was so inaccurate.

In battle off Guadalcanal, one torpedoe finished off quite a few destroyers.

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Re: Sinking of the Coventry

#11 Post by Tommy Atkins » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:05 pm

Its always a question of balancing the triangle. No matter if its a AFV, a Destroyer an aircraft, or a Battleship.
Armor<>speed & maneuverability<>firepower.
"Destroyer" was originally a "Submarine Destroyer", so preferences went to
Speed & maneuverability.
Get to the sub, out maneuver the sub, sink the sub.
Their speed & agility WERE armor.
Look at the Dh Mosquito.
Small, light (for an airplane)
& carried the bombloaad of a B-17!
The B-17 went the other way, massive defensive armament, but can you seriously imagine a low level penetration raid in a B-17 or a B-24? It wasn't what they were designed for.

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Re: Sinking of the Coventry

#12 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:38 pm

Those bombers were used to drop supplies during the Rhine landings in 1945 at low level and they got shot up pretty bad so you were pretty much on the money as in knowing what they were designed to do and not to do. The carpet bombing done in Normandy was done far higher and they hit our own troops as the Army Air Corps guys predicted. Bradley was advised to pull his troops back but decided against it. Had they come in low, it would have been ugly too. A 20mm flak cannon fires several hundred rounds a minute.

I've found that once engines got over 2000 hp, the B17's bomb load was not much to write home about. The B-17 and B-24 only had four 1200 hp engines. Of course, the B-17 was built in the 1930s using far older technology and it was ahead of its time as it was. The B-29's speed and cruising altitude were also its armor.

Today we have 10,000 ton destroyers that weigh as much as a heavy cruiser from WWII with scant armor. An Arleigh Burke class "destroyer" can reach out and touch objects 1000 miles or more away though, not to mention shoot down missiles skimming off the waves or a lot higher. A US carrier battle group with a few of these would have likely taken on the entire Argentine military and won. Of course, they likely will have an attack submarine with them as well. The Royal Navy is only a shell of its once formidable self these days. I think they ditched their amphibious capabilities lately. The South Korean Navy can likely take on the Russian Pacific fleet....and win. They have three and will have six Arliegh Burke type ships, not to mention planning a light carrier to carry F-35's. Their ship yards can also produce 3000 ton subs with vertical missile tubes. I've actually been in the Daewoo yard at Okpo and seen a frigate being built, not to mention several merchant ships and perhaps a oil rig and that was in the 1980's. I don;'t think we even have a yard that capable or versatile.

I heard Germany is not going to help patrol the Hormuz Strait near Iran. I actually think they don't have enough functioning ships anyways. This is probably the bigger story people are missing. Like the Russians, they skipped their maintenance bills. Of course, we just launched a Ford class super carrier with few elevators working and no air group. I don't mean people elevators, but aircraft and munition elevators. Logistics win the war, not toys.

Oh, I do remember the HMS Glowworm rammed the German heavy cruiser Hipper and its nose became a sheet metal accordian and sank shortly afterwards. The Hipper might have had a oil tank punctured, but nothing serious. This is how better protected a cruiser is over a destroyer. Not only did the destroyer suffer a fatal blow, but dealt little damage for the trouble. 1" plate steel or thicker really prevails over sheet metal every time.

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Re: Sinking of the Coventry

#13 Post by Hippycrowe » Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:37 pm

Us. Battle ships had an all or nothing armor and in only one battle was it tested at Guadalcanal when The South Dakota took many hits but serviced though damaged.

I think destroyers are throw away ships but 1 billion dollar throw away ships.

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Re: Sinking of the Coventry

#14 Post by Tommy Atkins » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:50 am

I remember an event caused by RAF & USAF bombing claims & rivalry some years back in the mid 70's.
There was an RAF base on one end of a road & a USAF base on the other they were probably 15 miles apart in a rural area.
The problem was the ONLY off base boozer was roughly 1/2 way between them!
The 2 units self-segregated, one in the "public" bar, the other in the "Private" bar. This kept "disturbances" to a minimum.
Till this one night! :o

One of the Visiting USAF guys had a skinfull walked into the other bar & loudly proclaimed that "The Mighty 8th could drop a bomb in a pickle barrel from 40,000 feet".
Well one of the RAF "Brylcream Boys" replied equally drunk & loud.
" Hey, guys! Guess what the Yanks have invented?
An eight mile wide pickle barel
"!

That's when the fight stared!
:angry-argument: :angry-screaming:

In reality neither had anything resembling what we'd call "precision Bombing" nowadays.

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